Inoue Azusa's classmate, Saito, is extremely good looking, but he has the worst personality ever. For some reason, he started noticing Azusa and gets her in a lot of trouble. Although he's very annoying, Azusa gradually becomes attracted to him. However, Azusa's classmate, Kou, is not only handsome and is the president, but towards Azusa he is...?!
Shoujo romance manga is most often overrun by clichés and tropes and Suki Kirai Suki is no exception to the rule. There is a simple, energetic and oh-so-positive main heroine, there is a bad boy with personal problems and there is a prince who does not want to be one. Simple premise and a pretty simple execution, as well.
In the span of 12 chapters there is enough development for a transparent story like this, though it starts and ends pretty fast. Once the heroine gets caught up with the bad boy, everything unravels in rapid succession; be that her feelings, her friends, her relationships with
people around her, or how people change. Although, drama is present, it is not tugging on any heartstrings, since it is mostly there to just fill in the gaps and, supposedly, make this more wholesome. Even the love triangle is not as strong as it should be, so the whole point of the work is for the main character to straighten out her thoughts in general and not so about being torn between romantic feelings towards the 2 boys.
Unfortunately, the cast does not offer any surprise to the reader; each personality is as predictable as the next, just like their actions. Be that as it may, we still get to see everyone’s progress in their thinking process and decisions, at least. Pacing here is also fast, considering the manga tries to fit in everyone’s problems without giving them much time to do so. Dramatic backstories can feel a bit hollow, since they are sudden and exist mainly to just give more drama. Relationships could have also been portrayed better than just hot/cold exchanges all the time, because it seems almost as if there is development, but there is not in the end, especially in the heroine’s friend’s case who had probably the best chances of giving the readers a more realistic personality, but was not utilized properly at all. Instead, we kept seeing more of the heroine not being able to stand up to her problems and give answers she had already found.
The art is certainly one of the best points of the work. Though, not really special in any way, it is very attractive and each character has a distinct face. It is modern with clear lines and the boys (especially, the bad boy) were handsome to look at and everyone’s expressions were good, without exaggerating by including eye-sparkles or too many silly, unrealistic faces. Even though, the backgrounds are very limited (most of the time, it is just white or some very plain lines), there are not many flower-y backdrops or anything either, which is a plus!
Overall, it is just fine for a casual evening read. It has nothing new or exciting to offer, but it is easy to read through and at least, it does not butcher its characters for the sake of romance or tries to pretend it is deeper than what it is.
Suki Kirai Suki is a run-of-the-mill love story, that may hold your interest until the end. It involves a girl, Inoue, who experiences the newness of love. In simpler terms this is about a love triangle featuring Has-Daddy-Issues (bad boy: Saitou) and Tired-of-the-Friendzone (good guy: Hikaru).
Inoue finds herself drawn to Has-Daddy-Issues, who exhibits a bad attitude and a need for sexual favors. He's standoffish and overtly rude, but her little heart goes doki doki for him so what could she do but fall harder for him. Tired-of-the-Friendzone on the other hand, tired of his princely/gentleman ways, tries his hardest to make her see him in
a romantic light. For the majority of the story, Inoue proclaims her attraction for Has-Daddy-Issues, and Tired-of-the-Friendzone reciprocates in reverse. I lagged often while reading SKS, but I found the story of Inoue and Tamami's friendship heartwarming. I enjoyed their friendship more than the love aspect here.
The cliche shoujo misunderstanding trope is frustrating to the very end in SKS. When the characters run away from the problem, it just prolongs the needless arc.
This shoujo is very characters driven, but I wasn't fond of any of the characters minus Tamami. The two male leads are a bit bland and Inoue is too naive.
Inoue was an alright character, but her neediness for Has-Daddy-Issues turned me off. At some points, I was begging her to stop running behind him and let him come to her.
I liked Tired-of-the-Friendzone until the final chapter, when he got... really desperate. When he was strategically trying to get her to like him, I was cool with him. Before he jumped the shark, he was the poor man's Take from Bokura Ga Ita. He came off way too strong like a grandma's perfume.
Has-Daddy-Issues basically stayed very sleazebaggish and rude unless there was a contrived, shoehorned in 'look at his sweet side ' scene. I did not like him at all. His eyes were cute, but he acted like a jerk. Everyone goes through stuff, but that didn't excuse his actions. Also, he was way too accepting of friends toward the end. A guy that antisocial should have to warm up too them.
There's a huge one step forward and two steps back element and the love triangle is rigged from the beginning. This love triangle felt one-sided throughout.
Suki Kirai Suki was lackluster and I liked the comedy more than the romance.
The artwork is nice! The mangaka has a sleek style with thin, bold lines. The eyes and eyebrows of the male characters are visually appealing.
Need a relatively short shoujo to pass time, or an excuse to ignore your homework? Suki Kirai Suki is your candidate. The cute ending kiss is what made me bump up my rating, but overall it's nothing I would reread or recommend.
If you're a shoujo fan who adores love triangles, then look no further. Then again, if you want non-typical love triangle, you should look elsewhere. For people new to the shoujo love triangle, Suki Kirai Suki can introduce them to that situation where two equally popular boys compete for one seemingly ordinary girl.
To be honest, I can't really say that this manga brought anything new to the table. For a classic school life story with good-looking boys and a girl who is deciding between both, a nice prince and a hot delinquent, well, it has the parts. But it's obvious who the girl will choose
in the end, and it feels as if the other boy gives up too easily since the mangaka can only stretch out the story for 12 chapters. As a result, when the drama happens in the end, it feels a little dry.
Aside from the parts where I casually rolled my eyes, though, I did laugh a few times. Some of the humor is good, so I'll give it that.
I was a little disappointed in the artwork, to be honest. It is decent, but at times I found the protagonist's eyes to be too big, the boys had big lips and not enough hair, etc. Of course, this is comparing it to the multiple other shoujo manga I've read, so this art is not as good as others in my opinion.
Characters? Hm. They're the typical heroine who speaks her mind, her best friend who supports her and helps her no matter what, and the two popular dudes, a mean one and a nice one. There isn't much to say about them and and they don't really stand out from any normal stereotypes. They do what they need to and that's that.
In conclusion, this manga was mildly amusing but it isn't something I'd recommend to anyone specifically and I'll likely forget about it in due time. If you want to try out your first love triangle, then here goes, but otherwise, you won't be impressed.